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Super Bowl LVI total viewing audience estimated at over 208 million

21 Dec 2021

After further review, approximately two-thirds of the United States population watched Super Bowl LVI.

The NFL announced on Tuesday that an estimated 208 million-plus viewers watched Super Bowl LVI. The number is based on a survey in collaboration with Nielsen which complements measurement data to better understand how many may have watched the game, particularly in group settings.

"While it's no secret that the Super Bowl is the biggest event across the media landscape on a yearly basis, the exact number of people watching the game has been challenging to pinpoint given the fact that people tend to gather in groups to watch the game" said Paul Ballew, chief data and analytics officer of the NFL. "We're grateful for the work put into this custom survey by Nielsen, the results of which we feel provide the most accurate picture to date of the total viewership for this unique event."

The results highlight the unique viewing nature of the Super Bowl. Nielsen measures out of home in locations such as bars and restaurants across about 65% of the United States and its co-viewing measurement covers groups of up to 16 people in households across the country. The custom survey of 6,600 households, conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago using the AmeriSpeak panel, examined the size of viewing groups at any location and to what extent those groups are larger than that which is measured today.

Nielsen found that nearly 90% of all people using a television during the event on Feb. 13, were watching Super Bowl LVI, the highest Super Bowl share on record (89.6%).

"We recognize that the Super Bowl is a truly unique watching experience. While we are confident in our measurement which is the gold standard for the industry, we are always looking for ways to more strongly collaborate with our clients to better understand who may be watching, and how they may be watching," Nielsen Sports managing director for the Americas Jon Stainer said. "We have worked closely with the NFL for years and performed other similar studies to better understand who may be tuning in to the largest TV event every year."

On Feb. 15, it was reported Super Bowl LVI averaged an audience of 112.3 million, including 101.1 million television viewers and another 11.2 million streamers. The game was available on NBC, Telemundo, Peacock, NBC Sports Digital, NFL Digital and Yahoo! Sports mobile properties.

Super Bowl LVI ranked as the most-watched TV program in five years since Super Bowl LII drew 113.7 million.

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